In August a group of experts was created to carry out research into domestic violence in Antigua, the first activity planned on the DECIDES Caribbean project. The group members are Dr Rawwida Baksh, a researcher from Trinidad and Tobago who has regional and international experience in gender-based violence, and local researchers Koren Norton and Amy Hasset, and the group is locally coordinated by staff from Women Against Rape Inc., a local DECIDES Caribbean partner in Antigua. The research will get underway in September, seeking to provide an overview of the current state of domestic violence in two districts in Antigua (St. John and St. Philip), and one in Barbuda (St. Mary), with reference to both reported and unreported cases. It will also seek to ascertain reasons why cases are unreported and the needs and problems of victims as well as their expectations and awareness of existing instruments and structures that could help them. In addition, the researchers will work with other related professionals such as the police, judges, refuge centres, health professionals, social workers and lawyers to understand the instruments they have to control violent behaviour and pinpoint their attitudes towards domestic violence and its victims. Interarts leads the consortium created to develop DECIDES Caribbean, in which the other participating groups are Caribbean Women’s Association (CARIWA), Advocates for Safe Parenthood (Saint Lucia) Inc. (ASPIRE) and Women against Rape Inc. (WAR). It is co-financed by the European Commission as part of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), through the European Union delegation in Barbados, Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM and is part of the DECIDES programme (Cultural Rights to Promote Development and Health).

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